5 Spice Drunk Duck

Fall is back. As I type is it dark and rainy out even though it is only 2 pm. This type of weather has me wanting bold deep flavors. I’m already rethinking dinners and lunches this week to see where I can fit Panang Chicken Curry into the mix. Let’s get out of the summer rut we’ve been in with cooking and get the house warmed up using our stoves and creativity.

Blue Whistler Duck’s have been in the store for a few months now.  I’ve been getting to know Farmer Amy who is amazing. Her dedication to her birds and their welfare is awe inspiring.  Knowing that I can place a beautiful wholesome duck on my table makes me extra happy.

The recipe today is going to pack a bold flavor. I’m already thinking ahead of  cold duck sandwiches later this week. (Edit: my family of 3 demolished this duck in 1 sitting it was so good. It was not a small duck either lol) This will be a dish that will enhance in flavor the next day.  When I think of  Peking Duck I instantly think of A Christmas Story with Little Ralphie and his family.  This recipe would definitely work to change up your family’s holiday dinners this year.

 

Hopefully in the near future we will be able to sell duck by the part. Currently Ducks are sold whole by the lb for $8.45 lb. 1 duck is a solid 3 meals with leftovers for my small family.  Most of the other ingredients are easy to find. I’m using Naan instead of Steam Buns ( if you can make them DO!) & a quick trip to the Asian Market for the Chinese 5 Spice & Shoa Shing Wine. Don’t forget the Mae Ploy for a little saucy goodness.

How we cook our steaks in the Ninja Cow Farm kitchen

One thing is for sure. We’ve cooked more grass fed, grass finished steaks than pretty much anyone you’ve ever known. We’ve tried all the different ways of cooking them. Grilled, sous vide, etc. After years of experimenting and comparing the effort with the result, I can say that this recipe is our 100% go to recipe for steaks, and with one small addition, pork chops and Boston Butt steaks.

Pork Osso Bucco Ragout

Last week left me without much time to cook. Due to Hurricane Matthew most meals were eaten at friends houses or out. Then the end of the week was so busy with obligations that dinner was out once again.  Now the evenings are longer and cooking is something I want to fill our home as well as our stomachs.

NCF carries pork osso bucco for $4.50 lb. Osso bucco comes in all sizes, from small to large. Personally I prefer the smaller more delicate cuts.They take less time to cook and are very flavorful. Fortunately we carry all sizes in the store.  The tomatoes, potatoes and sage came from the NCF garden making this a fairly inexpensive dinner for our family. Ragout is a french stew of vegetables usually served with meat.  I served the Ragout on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes although rice polenta or noodles would serve wonderfully.

 

 

Savory Brisket

The NCF Store recently started carrying a smaller sized brisket. Instead of 7-8lbs the new cut is more manageable for a family at 2 ½ to 4 lbs. This meal fed 2 families, 5 children and 5 adults for under $70. That’s a big crowd when you realize the kids are hitting peak growth and hunger ages. Yesterday, was a typically busy house day. It’s the beginning of the homeschooling year, creating a bit of chaos.

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I started watch Big Bang Theory years ago, since then I’ve wanted to make Howard’s Mother’s Brisket. It always appears to be one of those sought after items and much discussed. At 11 a.m. I realized, “Oh no the brisket isn’t in the oven yet. Is it too late?” Usually when I smoke a brisket, I like to keep it at 225 F for 12 hours. This however, was going to be served at 6 pm. OOPS!. As I seasoned the roast I discovered I was out of garlic powder. My mise en place was non-existent. I did what any good cook does and turned up the heat, changed the recipe and crossed my fingers.

In the afternoon, I met up with Erin (our neighbor & NCF’s milker) and run a chicken errand. When Erin and I walked in the door at 5:30pm; Bam the smell hit us. Something amazing had happened while we’d been out, the garlic powder missing was a great accident. Erin was planning to make tostadas for dinner and we both thought the kids would love to have dinner together and pulled beef brisket tostadas just sound AMAZING. I must admit they tasted even better, especially since Erin pampered us with fresh fried tostada shells.

Sorry, there aren’t a ton of pictures of the process as I did not plan on blogging this due to my loss of time management. It is too good not to share though.

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Snow Cream

It amazes me the people who don’t know about snow cream, even people from up North. I guess it’s like living at the beach. When you live there you never go.

Living in the South all my life, snow cream is the ultimate treat. Being fortunate enough to have grown up with parents who lived through the depression, and grew up in the country, and who doted on the last child (Me!) I was able to experience snow cream. But only every so often. We rarely get enough snow to make snow cream. An inch or two isn’t enough. We need a real snow, 3-6 inches. That means there is enough clean snow to scoop some up without getting grass, leaves, twigs, etc. in the final product. I recall twice, maybe three times in my life growing up where we had that much snow.

Now that I have kids of my own, I’ve made snow cream for them. Once. But when those rare snowy occasions come, I’m always ready for more.

LONDON BROIL WITH GOATY GRITS

Ruth Reichl is one of my cooking icons.  When Epicurious ended I was gutted. Was her career over, would she continue to write? She is incredibly inspirational to my own cooking style. The recipe I made tonight was inspired by her. She would collect ingredients in the street markets on her way home and make a dish.  I went walking through our little market at NCF and came up with dinner.

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London Broil is Flank Steak’s big brother. Have a large crowd to please? Get a London Broil. Tonight’s dinner is an indulgence, the London Broil is $10 lb and then the grits have Skyr Tykke  $5 (goat sour cream) & Garbo goat cheese $5. Our goat cheese products come from Celebrity Goat Dairy. With the veggies and stone grits this meal runs around $45.  This was our big family dinner of the week. This meal can be broken up or served with other items. The grits are a heavenly meal all on their own. Luckily we have lots of grits left over and I’m eyeing them for breakfast. There are 3 separate recipes in this one blog post. Please be patient with me.

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Not so Traditional Fried Chicken

This past weekend was a whirlwind of fun. My oldest sister came to town.  I asked what she would like for me to make and instantly she said fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and collard greens. I love that my siblings always know just what they want to eat at my house and let me know they expect it. Now if I could just get those in my house to tell me what they want for dinner daily. Every wife and mother’s dream, right?

Fried chicken is an American classic. While each portion of the US has it’s own style the South has uplifted it and taken it to another level.  Every family has it’s own recipe as well.  I have one myself that only 1 person  has a copy of to give to my daughter upon my death. This person is not my husband but then again he has watched me make it enough he could probably make it and it would be better than mine. While this is definitely a great fried chicken & has some of my secret recipes ingredients, it is not my super secret recipe.

The NCF store has whole cutup chickens for $6.50 lb. Let the work be done for you. We also sell Kefir for $6.50, While there are several flavors we’ll be using plain.  This is a happy accident, I ordered buttermilk, when it didn’t come in I needed a back up plan the kefir was there and it spoke to me. It said I have the lactic acid you seek. So I grabbed it and am so happy I did!

It’s time for a side dish recipe. Scrap pieces of meat are valued in the flavor they bring to a meal.

Scrap meat may not be the most appealing term, I’m talking about the bits of bacon left over after the pork belly has been sliced. Despite what the grocery store would have you believe bacon is not a perfect rectangular cut.  Ham hocks and jowl bacon can be used in this dish.  The fat from these cuts is going to add a silkiness to the collards that you cannot achieve otherwise. That means no pouring the fat off. Fat is not the enemy the news has made it out to be.